COVID-19 Legislative Scrutiny

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights resolved to meet regularly by teleconference to continue its important work of scrutinising all federal legislation for human rights compatibility, including legislation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee recognised that the federal bills and instruments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could have significant human rights implications. Further detail about the committee's approach to the scrutiny of COVID-19 related legislation is set out in its media statement of 15 April 2020.

The committee tabled a number of reports scrutinising COVID-19 related legislation (see Report 5 of 2020: Human rights scrutiny of COVID-19 legislation onwards).

In order to facilitate the committee's work in relation to the scrutiny of federal COVID-19 related legislation, the committee compiled a list of all bills and legislative instruments introduced or registered in 2020 and 2021 in response (or partly in response) to the COVID-19 pandemic (including legislation which did not engage human rights). For a list of legislative instruments registered in 2022 in response to COVID-19 see the Scrutiny of Covid-19 instruments by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation.

The committee resolved to publish the following pieces of correspondence it had received which was particularly relevant to its work in examining COVID-19 related legislation:

  • Amnesty International Australia (PDF 100KB)
  • Mr Richard Bradley (PDF 108KB)
  • Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law (PDF 557KB)
  • UNSW Australian Human Rights Institute (PDF 294KB)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representation (PDF 121KB)
  • Electronic Frontiers Australia (PDF 232KB)